Sweet FA: Cole off the hook over horror Hernandez tackle despite Fergie’s red plea

The FA has confirmed Ashley Cole will not face further action for his shin-high tackle on Javier Hernandez.

Cole was booked for clattering into Hernandez as the striker shot wide in Manchester United‘s 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Chelsea.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Cole should have been sent off, with the tackle the type of offence for which a red card is often shown.

Ferguson said: ‘It was a shocking challenge. He’s very reckless at times, Ashley Cole. Sometimes he can go over the edge a bit.

‘We will have to see what the damage is in the morning. His leg is very numb. He could be out for a couple of weeks.’

However, when pressed about the incident, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas had a different view.

Asked if Cole could have been sent off, he said: ‘Maybe he would not get sent off if the linesman does his work (earlier). Maybe if it is 0-0 Ashley is a bit more in control of the situation.’

Under FIFA rules, Cole cannot be punished retrospectively because the officials took action to deal with the incident at the time.

Referee Phil Dowd elected to consult with his assistant yesterday before deeming a yellow card to be a sufficient sanction.

It was uncertain how clear a view Dowd himself had of the offence, with the FA yet to receive his report from the game.

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